Nation: A Very Uncoplike Cop

WALKING down a headquarters hall or a ghetto sidewalk, his gait halfway between a lope and a swagger, Tom Reddin looks every inch the Compleat Policeman. If his huge hands, barrel chest and easy Irish smile do not betray his occupation, his glib, salty speech is unmistakably that of the lawman.

Yet in nearly every other way, Reddin is a very un-coplike cop.

His tastes are mildly intellectual. Virtually every attraction that comes to the Los Angeles Music Center is on his list, and with his wife Betty he attends night courses at U.C.L.A., their...